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07/06/2017
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IVC Filters

An inferior vena cava (IVC) filter is a very small medical device, but it can be deadly. It is placed inside a blood vessel to catch blood clots and keep them from traveling to the heart or lungs. But the filter can break or fail. Pieces of the IVC filter, or the whole filter, can travel into the heart or lungs. IVC filters can also cause other serious complications. IVC filter injuries can be fatal. Ray Hodges & Associates, LLC, represents IVC filter victims and their families in Kansas.

When are IVC Filters Used?

Retrievable IVC filters are used to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) when the risk is temporary. They are not the first choice, and are only to be used in people who cannot take anticoagulant drugs and those in which anticoagulant drugs have not been effective.

Events and medical conditions that can pose a temporary risk of DVT and PE include:

• Pregnancy
• Accidents
• Cancer treatment
• Kidney dialysis
• Emergency surgery
• Elective surgery

Reasons why anticoagulant drugs may not be appropriate include:

• Drug allergy
• Pregnancy
• Severely low platelet count
• Malignant hypertension
• Severe active bleeding
• Intracranial bleeding
• Recent stroke
• Recent major surgery
• Spinal cord surgery
• Eye surgery

IVC Filter Complications

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that retrievable IVC filters be removed as soon as the risk of DVT or PE has passed. If an IVC filter is defective, surgery to remove the device is very complicated and dangerous. Few surgeons have the skills or are willing to perform the procedure. During surgery, pieces of the filter can break off and travel to the heart.

IVC filter complications can include

• Filter migration
• Tilting of the device
• Blood clot pushing the filter into the heart or lungs
• Device fracture
• Pieces of the device breaking off and moving into the heart or lungs
• Blood vessel perforation
• Perforation of internal organs
• DVT
• Occlusion of the IVC
• Complications of surgery to remove IVC filter

IVC Filter Migration

Migration of the IVC filter, or pieces of the filter, can be fatal. The filter or its pieces can travel to the heart. If you experience symptoms of filter migration, seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms include:

• Rapid heart rate
• Abnormal heart rhythm
• Low blood pressure
• Lightheadedness
• Confusion
• Lethargy
• Labored breathing
• Excessive sweating
• Nausea
• Neck pain
• Chest pain

To learn more about IVC filter injuries and your legal rights please call Ray Hodge & Associates, LLC, at (316)269-1414 or contact us by email.


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Ray Hodge & Associates proudly represents victims and their families across the state of Kansas, including Wichita, Andover, Derby, Goddard, Haysville, Mulvane, Rose Hill, Newton, El Dorado and Hutchinson. Call today for a free consultation all over the state of Kansas. We have proudly served clients in Sedgwick, Butler, Sumner, Harvey, Kingman and Reno Counties.